Lower back pain could possibly be temporary, but it might also be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
Are you suffering from lower back pain? If so, the first step to relieving it is understanding what’s causing it in the first place. Once you figure out what is causing your back pain, you’ll be better equipped to help it heal. Let’s take a look at 7 things that could possibly be the cause of your pain:
1. A worn-out mattress
Does your mattress have lumps, bumps, uneven spots or obvious saggy places? Is it more than 8 years old? In either case, an answer of “yes” could indicate that your mattress may be the primary cause of your back pain. The following are a couple of other possible clues that this could be the case:
- Your back pain is at its worst when you first wake up in the morning, and it gradually eases as you go on about your day.
- You have a hard time getting to sleep at night, and you spend a major portion of the night tossing, turning and feeling uncomfortable.
If either of the above scenarios describes your situation, you might find back pain relief simply by obtaining a new, better mattress and sleeping on it instead of the old one. In particular, you’ll want to seek out the best mattress for back pain.
2. Poor posture
It’s all too easy to unconsciously develop the habit of hunching over your computer or slouching on your couch. This can put undue pressure on the discs in your spinal cord, resulting in pain.
In cases where poor posture is causing back pain, there are typically some clues you’ll want to be alert to:
- If you just started a new job, and your back pain started at around the same time, it is likely that either the working environment or the work itself could be contributing to your pain.
- If you just got a new car, a new couch, a new office chair or any other new item that you spend a lot of time sitting on, that’s another clue that your posture could be causing or contributing to your back pain.
- If your back pain subsides when you sit or stand straight, that’s an indication that posture is the likeliest culprit.
3. Lumbar strain
There are countless ways you could overstretch your back or accidentally twist it too far, resulting in lumbar strain. Some common causes of lumbar strain include the following:
- Improperly lifting heavy boxes or other heavy objects
- Falling down the stairs or suffering any other serious fall
- Participating in certain sports such as weight lifting, football or golf; in particular, sports that require you to make pushing or pulling motions could potentially be a culprit.
- Getting in a fight or accident that results in a blow to the back or surrounding areas of the body
- Maintaining an excessive amount of body weight
4. A disc injury
Along your spine are vertebrae which are cushioned by discs. These discs have the potential to rupture. When that happens, it causes pressure on the nerves in your back, which in turn results in back pain.
It’s also possible to have bulging discs or herniated discs that press against your nerves, causing you pain.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that can result in pains in various places throughout the body; people who suffer with this condition frequently experience pain in their hip joints, hands and lower back. One typical complication that Osteoarthritis patients frequently experience is a narrowing of the space surrounding the spinal cord. This is termed “spinal stenosis”. It can cause lower back pain, tingling or numbness in the affected area of the body.
6. Kidney stones or other kidney problems
Your kidneys are situated right in the middle of your back. They’re underneath your rib cage. If the pain your feeling is the result of kidney stones, there are likely to be some warning signs:
- If you feel the pain underneath your ribs, that’s an indication that kidney stones could possibly be involved.
- If the pain isn’t always constant, and it changes in intensity, that’s another sign that kidney stones could be contributing to your pain.
- If you notice blood in your urine
- Urination has become painful
- You’re urinating more frequently
- All of a sudden, your urine has a strong, unpleasant odour
- You feel nauseated or you’re vomiting
- In addition to the back pain, you also have a fever and chills
7. Degenerative disc disease
It’s possible for the discs between bones in the lower spinal region to lose their strength or become damaged. This is known as degenerative disc disease.
If you’re noticing back pain that doesn’t stay confined to the back alone, but rather also is affecting your legs and buttocks or neck and arms, that’s a sign that degenerative disc disease may be the cause of your back pain.
In cases where this is the cause of back pain, it may be possible to obtain pain relief using cold packs on the affected area. You could alternate them with heat packs, which have the benefit of reducing the inflammation that provokes the pain.
These aren’t the only issues that can cause back pain, but they are 7 of the most common causes. If you’re experiencing back pain, and it isn’t immediately obvious to you what the cause of the pain is, it is advisable to speak with your GP about the matter as soon as possible. Your GP can help you to diagnose the source of your pain and to devise a programme that will help you correct the situation. . If it becomes necessary for you to see a specialist doctor, your GP can provide you with a referral. Alternatively, you might also want to consider seeing a chiropractor.